Wine is made from grapes. Everyone knows this. You grow grapes, process them, you age them, you get wine. Very simple. Grapes equal wine. Wine equals grapes. If you want a refined drink with a fruitier taste than beer and less alcohol content than a spirit, you’re going to need grapes.
Or so we all thought, until a recent trend emerged! That’s right, mead is back in fashion. Famous mostly for the image of ancient Vikings drinking it out of animal horns, mead is distinct from other wine-like beverages because it’s made with honey. Not grapes. I’ll give you a second for the walls of your reality to adjust to this shocking new information.
Until fairly recently, mead was something of a novelty. It enjoyed popularity throughout Europe until the 17th century, when cane sugar became more widely available and honey was supplanted as the go-to sweetener. Over the years mead dropped in popularity until generally the only stuff you could find was oversweet and gimmicky, not worth the glass it was bottled in.
But now, interest in mead has surged and craft meaderies have begun popping up all over the country. Modern mead is delicious and varied, with brewers tweaking sweetness, alcohol content, honey sources, and fruit infusions to create a beverage every bit as complex and expansive as grape-based wine. Whatever your drinking preferences, there’s probably a mead out there for you.
If you’re looking to try something new, head over to your local meadery and try a glass or two. Maybe you’ll find your new obsession.